Thursday, November 10, 2011

the barefoot contessa wins again

After flipping through several cookbooks for this weeks recipe, I decided on the barefoot contessa Ina Garten again.  Her how easy is that cookbook had a side dish that caught my eye.

It was kind of an odd choice for me, but interesting in a weird sort of way. 

Here's the recipe:

Warm French Lentils       
serves 4 to 6

Ina says:  There's a little bistro in Paris that Jeffrey and I love and they always have lentils on the menu.  In summer, they're served like this- slightly warm with a drizzle of olive oil- and in winter they're served hot with garlicky French sausages.  This is classic French peasant food and it's so satisfying.

2 tablespoons     plus 1/4 cup good olive oil
                    1     leek, white and light green parts, sliced 1/4 inch thick
                    2     carrots, scrubbed and 1/2 inch-diced
     1 teaspoon     minced garlic
             1 cup     French green Le Puy lentils
                    1     whole onion, peeled and stuck with 6 whole cloves
                    1     white turnip, cut in half
     1 teaspoon     unsalted butter
    4 teaspoons    Dijon mustard
 2 tablespoons    red wine vinegar
  1 tablespoon     kosher salt
     1 teaspoon     freshly ground pepper

Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium saute pan, add the leek and carrots, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute and set aside.

Meanwhile, place the lentils, 4 cups water, the onion with the cloves, and the turnip in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat, add the leek and carrots, and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are almost tender.  Remove and discard the onion and turnip and drain the lentils.  Place them in a medium bowl and add the butter.

Meanwhile, whisk together the 1/4 cup of olive oil, the mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper.  Add to the lentils, stir well, and allow the lentils to cool until just warm, about 15 minutes.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.  The longer the lentils sit, the more salt and pepper you'll want to add.

Notes from the cook:
I have never cooked with leeks before, that was fun! Also, I loved the idea of sticking whole cloves into the onion.  They added just a hint of flavor to the lentils.  I did not find the Le Puy lentils and just used regular lentils.  

To make the lentils more like a main course, I added cooked sausage.  It tasted really good and was the perfect addition.

This dish introduced me to new ingredients and flavors and tasted great.  Good choice!

If you decided to join me in this adventure, please go to the comment section and tell us what you made and how it turned out.

Happy cooking,


Chelsea said...

Although I'm a little skeptical about lentils, this looks super tasty! I'm going to look through my cookbooks and start tagging recipes this weekend to participate with you :)

Vintage Station said...

I LOVE her. Never had a bad dish from that gal.